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A Caregiving.com choice for Best Caregiving Book of 2017, this poignant and timely memoir was also named American Book Fest’s 2017 Best Book Award Winner for Autobiography/Memoir. Even with her professional background as former hospice consultant who studied aging, illness, and the intricacies of the healthcare system, Melanie Merriman found the real-life experience of caring for her mother humbling. Written for people who have cared for a parent, are currently facing that challenge, or are aging parents themselves, Holding the Net offers practical details about the effects of aging on the body and mind, living arrangements for older people, health care decisions, and surviving a stay in a rehab facility. This story challenges the notion that anyone can be an expert when it comes to caring for an aging parent, and encourages readers simply to do their best.
Written for people who have cared for a parent, are currently facing that challenge, or are aging parents themselves, Holding the Net offers practical details about the effects of aging on the body and mind, living arrangements for older people, health care decisions, and surviving rehab. It also challenges the notion that anyone can be an expert when it comes to caring for an aging parent, and encourages us to simply do our best. Melanie hits all the right notes, and her story will have readers nodding their heads and shedding healing tears.
About the Author
Melanie P. Merriman, PhD has spent much of her life as a research scientist, hospice consultant, and foundation grant evaluator—driven by a passion to illuminate, understand, and find meaning. Now she writes with the same purpose. Holding the Net is her debut as a solo author. She is also the co-author of Merriman’s Hawai‘i: The Chef, the Farmers, the Food, the Islands, a cookbook with stories about chef Peter Merriman. Melanie and her husband Klein Merriman split their time between South Florida and Cape Cod, MA.
“With wisdom and humility, Merriman draws on personal experience to create a moving, matter-of-fact, deeply eye-opening look at what most of us will eventually face: guiding our parents through old age.” — Cathi Hanauer, NY Times best-selling novelist and editor of The Bitch in the House and The Bitch is Back
"Holding the Net is an engrossing, tenderly told story of a daughter’s loving care for her mother. Beyond just a good read, these pages hold pearls of practical wisdom that are gifts to any reader who happens to be a parent who is growing older or the child of one." — Ira Byock, MD is a palliative care physician, chief medical officer of the Providence Institute for Human Caring, and author of The Four Things That Matter Most and The Best Care Possible
"This is not the story of just one mother and her daughters. It is all of our stories—ones already lived, or ones midstream, or ones about to happen. Read Melanie Merriman’s words for validation, for forgiveness, for guidance, for hope. The tightrope of aging contains all of these, and more. This book will hold your hand on that tightrope." — From the Foreword by Ann Hood, The Book That Matters Most
“…a wake-up call and a gentle guide through the daily, weekly, monthly, yearly journey of helping the people we love through the difficult process of aging to a soft landing.” — Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer prize-winning columnist, founder of The Conversation Project
"Anyone who has ever cared for an aging parent will sympathize with Merriman’s trials and be comforted by her heartfelt story." — Booklist